Steel with Waverunner (2013 True Heroes Sentinel 1)
In the True Heroes line from Toys“Я”Us, 2013 brings the new “Sentinel 1” team of hand-picked elite special-ops characters. Three sets at the $5.99 price point include a small vehicle and a figure. Two are land-based, with a motorcycle and a quad, and the third is comprised of the Waverunner and its driver, Steel.
Steel is typical Chap Mei: slightly more realistically proportioned than the old Husky Helpers from Fisher Price, but with good, crisp detailing and, in this case, a robust 9 points of articulation. With his fatigues and patrol cap, he looks at home both at sea and ashore. His cap bears three stars, but I’m guessing that’s just flair and he’s not really a Lieutenant General. It appears that his character is the one depicted on the Sentinel 1 packaging, so he’s also the poster boy for the line.
In addition to the boat and figure, the set includes a rack of the typically oversized Chap Mei weapons, a metal dog tag for Steel, and assorted plastic bits used to hold them all in the box, many of which could be useful shapes for scratch-builders. The boat itself is held in the box via two plastic cams that screw into the bottom of the vehicle, a system that is far less annoying than plastic or twine ties.
The real star of the set is the Waverunner. Since G. I. Joe re-emerged in 1982, other military toy lines have produced playsets and vehicles with sufficient quality to make them useful additions to a Joe collection, and the Waverunner is such a toy. A grey one-person watercraft, with some camouflage painted on the bow and an “S1” logo on the stern, the boat eschews the usual overloading of the Chap Mei lines and features only a pair of guns as its weaponry. The set includes a pair of oars that can be snapped onto the gunwales, although the rider would presumably be able to make better time swimming than trying to row this craft to shore. An adjustable pair of handlebars insures that riders of varying sizes will have a perfect grip on the controls. To top it all off, three wheels on the bottom of the hull allow the boat to roll on a smooth surface, and the offset axle of the front wheel adds a bumpy effect that evokes the spectacle of high-speed travel on a choppy, 1/18 scale sea.